Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

'Safe Home' for LGBTQI asylum-seekers in Chicago
From a press release
2015-02-16

This article shared 3158 times since Mon Feb 16, 2015
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Chicago — "A new home — and a safe home," said Valentine as he turns on a lamp in the new apartment donated by Namasté United Church of Christ in Chicago's Portage Park neighborhood. Their ministry partnership is designed to aid lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex ( LGBTQI ) individuals who are seeking asylum in the U.S. because their lives are at risk in their homelands.

Valentine, from Nigeria, will be the house manager for the new four-person apartment created in the vacant sexton quarters of the local congregation's church building. In exchange for a rent-free apartment, the four residents — Valentine, Kachi, John, and Abraham — will be sharing Namasté UCC janitorial and light maintenance duties to care for the congregation's property.

"It's a win-win ministry," said Rev. Marilyn Pagan-Banks, pastor of Namasté UCC and executive director of Chicago's food justice ministry A Just Harvest. "For Namasté, it's the opportunity to be in global equality ministry even as we benefit from the care of our building and grounds."

Pagan-Banks and Namasté heard of the work of CLASP, Chicago's LGBT Asylum Support Program, and reached out to be in partnership. "We're so grateful for Namasté UCC going into this ministry with us," says Dennis Akpona Ojiyoma, co-founder of CLASP. "We're happy to find another local congregation welcoming to LGBTQI people, who are also fighting for justice in many areas," he says.

Namasté UCC joins Broadway United Methodist Church in supporting CLASP and its other partner, the Center for Integration and Courageous Living ( CiCLiv ), founded by another CLASP co-founder, John Ademola Adewoye. "Moving four men to Namasté frees up space for additional people in danger to come to the U.S.," he says. Adewoye has opened his own home to CiCLiv as a first-stop for those who are fleeing threats and persecution in Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda, among other areas.

CLASP is one of the premier organizing efforts that grew out of the LGBT-Freedom & Asylum Network ( LGBT-FAN ), a nationwide group focused on mobilizing open and affirming congregations and movement leaders to help asylum seekers who face daunting obstacles after they arrive in the USA.

In over 75 countries can be imprisoned; in seven of those countries, the punishment can be death. "We feel a moral obligation to help provide safety," says Ojiyoma, who is the first of the CLASP family to "graduate," achieving asylum from Nigeria last year. CLASP, CiCLiv, and Namasté are working together to provide direct service ( food & shelter ) and community support ( transportation, social and spiritual activities, etc. ) in hopes that asylum seekers won't feel alone or afraid as they navigate the U.S. culture and immigration system.

CLASP is uniquely linked to the Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches and faith communities, and Reconciling United Methodist congregations to garner assistance for asylum seekers in the "limbo" period between claiming a need for asylum and the asylum interview with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement ( ICE ). During this period, the asylum seekers are not allowed to work, nor do they benefit from governmental support that is available to refugees.

CLASP has formed a Speakers' Bureau with Justice For Our Neighbors ( JFON ) to collaborate in providing speakers to help raise awareness about the need for immigration reform; and to educate about the differences in immigrant, refugee, and asylum status. JFON provides pro-bono legal services and helps immigrants to navigate the current system.

Donations of goods and cash from many individuals, from Broadway UMC and University Church UCC members, and from Heartland Alliance's partner Sharing Connections have made possible the move into Namasté. For those seeking to help support this project and the global LGBTQI community, you can support CLASP by donating online ( please designate your gift to "clasp" ) through Broadway United Methodist Church at www.broadwaychurchchicago.com/give .

If you're able to provide volunteer opportunities for asylum-seekers; if you are interested in donating gently-used clothing or goods ( floor lamps are currently needed ); if you are able to underwrite monthly internet, grocery, or laundry costs — please be in touch with Rev. Lois McCullen Parr at gizhilois@yahoo.com or Dennis Ojiyoma at dennygyus@gmail.com .

For background information, see www.lgbt-fan.org/ for LGBT-FAN; www.cicliv.org/ for the Center for Integration and Courageous Living; namasteuccil.com/about/ for Namasté UCC; jfonnic.org/ for JFON; and www.sharingconnections.org/ .


This article shared 3158 times since Mon Feb 16, 2015
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Pro-choice rally takes place in the Loop
2021-09-27
On Sept. 27—the first day of the new U.S. Supreme Court session—various women's- and reproductive-rights groups held a rally in Federal Plaza in the Loop. Planned Parenthood of Illinois Jennifer Welch said she wanted Americans to ...


Gay News

Defend Abortion Access marches/rallies planned across Illinois Oct. 2
2021-09-27
--From a press release - CHICAGO — A coalition of more than 20 progressive organizations, supporters, and providers of reproductive health care are holding "Defend Abortion Access" events across Illinois on Saturday, October 2, in response to the Texas abortion ban ...


Gay News

Ex-NU professor standing trial in sexual thrill-kill case
2021-09-27
Former Northwestern University professor Wyndham Lathem was slated to stand trial starting Sept. 27 for first-degree murder in a case that involves what prosecutors said was a sexual thrill-kill, The Chicago Tribune reported. The victim, 26-year-old ...


Gay News

Chicago announces strategic plan to address gender-based violence, human trafficking
2021-09-27
--From a press release - CHICAGO — On Sept. 27, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot launched the City's first-ever citywide strategic plan to address gender-based violence (GBV) and human trafficking. The work to build this plan began in February 2021 when Mayor ...


Gay News

R. Kelly found guilty of racketeering
2021-09-27
On Sept. 27, a federal jury in Brooklyn convicted embattled R&B singer R. Kelly of racketeering by a federal jury in Brooklyn, the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York said, according to ...


Gay News

Nearly two-thirds of Swiss residents vote for marriage equality
2021-09-26
Almost two-thirds of Switzerland's voters backed the government's plan to introduce same-sex marriage in a referendum held Sept. 26, with campaigners calling it a historic day for gay rights in Switzerland, Yahoo! News reported, citing AFP. ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Danica Roem, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' abortion appeal, Lambda Legal
2021-09-26
Transgender Virginia legislator Danica Roem is facing a conservative marriage-equality opponent and former Trump administration member in her re-election race this November, Yahoo! News noted. Roem, a Democrat, was elected to the House of Delegates in ...


Gay News

Indiana students sue over gay-straight club's alleged treatment
2021-09-24
In Pendleton, Indiana, a group of Pendleton Heights High School students has filed a lawsuit against the school and South Madison Community School Corporation over allegations that the school has been treating its Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) ...


Gay News

Report: 2.3M Latinx LGBT adults live in the U.S.
2021-09-23
--From a press release - A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that an estimated 2.3 million adults in the U.S. identify as Hispanic or Latino/a and LGBT. Researchers found that Latinx LGBT people fare ...


Gay News

Chicago Ald. Cappleman attacked
2021-09-19
On the night of Sept. 18, Chicago Ald. James Cappleman was attacked in the Uptown area of the city, The Chicago Tribune reported. Cappleman, in charge of the 46th Ward, is one of five members of ...


Gay News

WORLD Germany's compensation, Lyra McKee, LGBTQ Afghans, tennis player
2021-09-19
Germany has compensated almost 250 people who were prosecuted or investigated under a Nazi-era law criminalizing homosexuality, according to euronews. By September, 317 people had applied for compensation for their ...


Gay News

Hastert settles sexual-abuse lawsuit
2021-09-16
Days before a trial was set to begin, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert reached a tentative settlement in a hush-money lawsuit filed by a man whose decades-old sexual-abuse allegations led to the politician's downfall six ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs transformative energy legislation for Illinois
2021-09-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Delivering on principles previously laid out, Governor JB Pritzker signed landmark legislation into law that puts the state on a path toward 100% clean energy, invests in training a diverse workforce for the jobs ...


Gay News

Catholic theologians urge protections for LGBTQ+ people
2021-09-14
More than 750 of the nation's leading Catholic theologians, church leaders, scholars, educators and writers have joined New Ways Ministry in voicing support for nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, according to a New Ways press release. ...


Gay News

CAIC announces 2021 Collaborative Works Festival, immigration, migration in song
2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO— Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC) begins its eleventh anniversary season with its annual Collaborative Works Festival, held in venues around Chicago from October 6—9, 2021. The 2021 Collaborative ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.